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Single Seizure and the RAF

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Single Seizure and the RAF

Old 18th Feb 2018, 16:23
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Question Single Seizure and the RAF

Hello all,

Bit of a stab in the dark here but here goes...

9 years ago, when I was 11, I had what was described as a single 'complex partial seizure'. This effected my speech and coordination for approximately 15-20 minutes, at which point the symptoms subsided and everything returned to normal. I did not experience a loss of consciousness, I was completely aware of my surroundings throughout the entire period, and there were no 'convulsions'.

After a spell in hospital and a clear MRI, the doctor decided that it was probably either puberty, the spray paint can I used (used to be into that Warhammer thing), or the energy drink I drank that day which caused the seizure. Since then, I have not had another seizure, and have never been on any medication. Therefore I have not been diagnosed with epilepsy.

Annoyingly it has always been my ambition to be a multi-engine pilot, primarily so in the RAF. Now as a 20 year old student, I am trying to make this a reality. And it seems I may have a battle on my hands!

Looking at the medical guidance in the RAF medical document AP1269a, the minimum seizure-free period for selection into the RAF is 10 years. However, the joint service publication JSP950 (part 1, leaflet 6-7-7) states 5 years as the minimum. I have no idea if this is valid for aircrew also, but the 10 year time period does coincide with the CAA/EASA neurological guidelines for the Class 1 Medical.

Does anybody know anyone who has been accepted after a single seizure? Or gain a Class 1 Medical for commercial piloting at least? I feel I have a bit of a rare case as all the other answers I have read on the internet involve the subject being diagnosed with epilepsy or being on medication.

Thanks for any help!
ZNXY is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2018, 19:11
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Not sure exactly how old you are, but "single seizure clinics" have proliferated in The UK of late. If you were referred there, it would be handy to get hold of those notes, as it's likely you would have seen paediatrician who has some specialisation in the area.

"Seizure" can be a bit of a wishy washy term, especially if "diagnosed" in Primary Care.

Either way, I think you probably need to get the whole episode unpicked by an expert, prior to your medical.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 23:02
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I’m now 20, this was 9 years ago. I’ve never heard of a single seizure clinic before, do you know much on the subject? I would really like to unpick what actually went on as it all seems quite ambiguous reading the some of the notes.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 20:19
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They probably didn't exist 9 years ago ZNXY.

No, I'm not a neurologist, but do have to differentiate these things sometime.

"Seizure" is a bit of a word that's sometimes banded around, and isn't always that clearly defined.The word itself is very subjective, even amongst us who have some training.

Anyone actually, with the right stimulus, is capable of having a "seizure."

The first seizure clinic, is designed to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Usually, it's a single, transient event, sometimes related to fever, stress, tiredness, alcohol, drugs etc. (common)

Obviously, we have to make sure it's nothing more serious, such as a brain tumour or epilepsy. (not as common)

Reassuringly, you've had a single event 9 years ago, which doesn't seem to have recurred.

I suspect the next stage forward is to obtain your notes, and if required, get a specialist report. Have you spoke to to the RAF medical people yet, I suspect you'll have nothing to worry about.
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